Radiolab on The New York City Poop Train

new york city sewage treatment plant
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Few radio shows could make a report about human waste both entertaining, educational and inspiring, but Radiolab is no ordinary radio program. This week, host's Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich tell the fascinating story of the New York City Poop Train, which used to ship tons of human waste sludge from New York City to farmers in Colorado, 1,600 miles away.

Wait, what? I was surprised to learn about this, so it was interesting to hear the history of how much New York City's approach to sewage has changed in the past few decades. The segment also includes an interesting tour of Manhattan's North River Wastewater Treatment Plant, which currently treats approximately 125 million gallons of wastewater every day.

I don't want to spoil the ending of the story for you, but there is also a good lesson on sustainability and how we can be doing a better job of putting human waste to beneficial use (once it is properly processed for safety).

Check it out on or use the embedded player above.

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